What Is SEL?

  • Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (Collaborative for Academic, Social,and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

    The EM Baker School incorporates both the Responsive Classroom Approach to teaching and learning and the Second-Step Curriculum.  In addition, we have incorporated Mindfulness, which complements the Responsive Classroom Approach.  Daily classroom activities are coupled with Mindful Mondays when students and teachers are introduced to a new mindfulness exercise on Monday mornings.  

Calm Down Strategy

  •                         children practicing yoga

    Students practice yoga as a calm down strategy. 

Responsive Classroom

  • In order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies - cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. Alongside these, students also learn academic competencies - academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors.

    Visit Responsive Classroom

    Responsive Classroom Guiding Principles


Second Step

  • The Second Step Program is a school-wide curriculum that gives students the tools to navigate their way through school and their community. Through games, activities, and songs students build skills to become ready for learning, show empathy, manage emotions, and problem solve. 

Second Step Curriculum


  • Mindfulness can add to the quality of our lives in numerous ways, from nurturing a sense of inner peace to improving the quality of a workout, from enhancing self-confidence to facilitating deeper and more meaningful relationships with others.  Fostering mindfulness through small tools such as pictures, objects, simple movements, and music can help children develop an ability to focus their attention and develop self-awareness.

    students sitting on meditation cushions

    Meditation cushions are perfect for our mindful time each and every day!

  • students painting

    Kindergarteners paint on Buddha Boards with water to create bold designs. As the water slowly evaporates, their art magically disappears leaving them with a clean slate and a clear mind, ready to create a whole new masterpiece. The art of letting go!

Growth Mindset

  • Growth Mindset is being open to new ideas, activities and new thinking.  It’s about changing our thinking and changing our teaching.  Its purpose is to get students to realize their ability is not fixed, but flexible.  A growth mindset teaches students to handle setbacks and try their best and persevere.